PORT ELIZABETH, March 31 – United Democratic Movement Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBM) councillor Mongameli Bobani has apologised for an incident involving Congress of the People MP Deidre Carter during a chaotic council meeting on Thursday during which a motion of no confidence in mayor Athol Trollip was on the agenda.
In an email to UDM secretary general Bongani Msomi on Saturday, he said, “I submit immediately that inasmuch as there may be even the smallest sensing that I intentionally touched or collided with or set upon Cope MP Deidre Carter during one of several close encounters in the mostly chaotic NMBM council meeting on 29 March, where people were moving about and bumping into furniture and fixtures and each other, I apologise unreservedly (sic).”
“My report of the incident, to colleagues, and the report of Ms Carter, and the motley of eyewitness reports presented in the media support only one conclusion: in the heat of the bedlam no one can objectively recall exactly what has happened during this unguarded and unwitting moment of some seven hours of pandemonium (sic).
“The turbulent and tumultuous environment failingly presided over by over by an effete speaker invited and increased the likelihood of awkward and gratuitous physical contacts and I regret that Ms Carter had to endure any discomfort, inconvenience, or perceived danger or threat, especially as a guest of the metro on this occasion (sic),” Bobani said.
According to media reports, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said he had 14 days to decide whether any action should be taken against Bobani for allegedly manhandling Carter during the drama that unfolded in the council meeting on Thursday.
Carter said she was affronted by the conduct of axed deputy mayor Bobani and that she had contacted Holomisa about it, the Herald Live reported.
After eight hours of drama, adjournments, heated debates, and disruption-after-disruption, the vote of no confidence in Democratic Alliance mayor Trollip was put on hold for two weeks.
The special council sitting scheduled for 8am on Thursday morning was meant to deal with motions brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters, the African National Congress, and smaller minority parties.
The motions included a bid to have Trollip, Speaker Jonathan Lawack, chief whip of council Werner Senekal, and the entire mayoral committee team ousted.